With big changes expect to come to the iPhone in its next iteration, speculation has focused on the possibility that Apple could shift the phone’s launch from fall to as early as May or June. A financial briefing by Apple partner GT Advanced suggests such a change won’t be happening.
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Sapphire partner’s second-half projections suggest another fall launch for next iPhone

sapphire-screen

With big changes expect to come to the iPhone in its next iteration, speculation has focused on the possibility that Apple could shift the phone’s launch from fall to as early as May or June. A financial briefing by Apple partner GT Advanced — expected to supply sapphire crystal components for the device — suggests such a change won’t be happening.

GT Advanced reports that it expects to return to profitability in the second half of the year, a timing that would line up with increased sapphire shipments to Apple for use in new iPhone models. GT-Advanced has partnered with Apple to outfit and staff a soon-to-open plant in Mesa, Arizona that will focus on producing sapphire crystal displays for use in a next-gen iPhones or possibly the upcoming iWatch.

The inference is that Apple would be launching neither of these products before the second half of the year, meaning a return to a June launch for new devices seems unlikely. Apple had initially announced the iPhone and several subsequent updates to the device during the early summer months, but moved to a September/October launch with the iPhone 4S.

Calculations estimate that GT Advanced and Apple will have the materials and equipment capable of producing over 100 million sapphire crystal displays in time for a fall launch, but conflicting reports suggest Apple will forego the use of the material in the so-called iPhone 6. The device is expected to see its screen size to grow closer to 5 inches among other changes to aesthetics and hardware.

[via GT Advanced]

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